Concern among Ky. congressmen about debt ceiling spans the full spectrum

10/10/2013 10:16 AM

When it comes to the urgency of whether to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, the members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation fall into three categories.

There’s the “no-big-deal-we-just-need-to-prioritize” group, which includes U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie of the 4th District in Northern Kentucky.

Other Kentucky Republicans fall into the group who believe passing the deadline for raising the debt ceiling isn’t something to fool around with but that any raise in that debt limit must come with a reduction in long-term spending.

And Kentucky’s lone Democrat in the delegation, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville, says the debt ceiling must be raised ASAP or the country risks dire consequences. Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes also falls into that category based on her campaign’s response to Pure Politics’ questions.

As for Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, he addressed the debt ceiling in a floor speech Thursday morning, saying Americans are “not in any mood to hand over a blank check” to the government.

His spokesman, Robert Steurer, said in a statement late Wednesday to Pure Politics that “neither side wants to default on our debts. Neither side will allow it. I believe that.”

“It’s irresponsible to do nothing about the debt, and it’s irresponsible to be stirring up anxiety about default. But that doesn’t mean the American people are wrong to ask that a debt-limit increase include reforms aimed at actually tackling the problems that got us here in the first place,” the statement said.

Pure Politics took a look at what’s at stake with this debate and where specifically Kentucky officials and candidates stand:


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